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Mount Moriac - The Minters choose a different direction

Mount Moriac - The Minters choose a different direction

Michael Minter (1807-1864), his second wife, Eleanor Edmonds Jeffery (1821-1875) and their four eldest children (Michael, Ella, Ada and Rosa) emigrated in 1849 on the barque Brothers, as part of the party organised by Dr George Dixon Hedley. Michael was an uncle to the Peck siblings – the youngest brother of their mother Sarah. Michael had undertaken his medical apprenticeship with Robert James Peck in Newmarket during the 1820s, and was baptismal sponsor of one of the Peck children. At the time that Robert James Peck died in 1848, Ffloyd was working as Michael’s assistant at the Folkestone infirmary. There was, then, a close relationship between Michael and the Peck siblings who emigrated.

After arriving in Port Phillip in March 1850, unlike the rest of the party, the Minters did not settle in Gippsland, instead establishing their home later that same year in Mount Moriac near Geelong.

Left: Michael Minter 1862; Right: Eleanor Edmonds Minter (née Jeffery) 1866 (Source for both: State Library of Victoria)

Michael purchased 640 acres of Crown land in the County of Grant (Lot 122, parish of Gnarwarre), comprising the northern slope of Mount Moriac, an extinct volcano some 12 miles west of Geelong. The land was proclaimed 26 March 1850, deeds dated 10 Dec, 1850, and purchased 29 Jan 18511. He organised a mortgage for the purchase in August 1850. Michael also purchased a town block of 2 roods (half an acre) in Broadmeadows (in the north of Melbourne) at the same time.

Michael Minter’s granddaughter Nell Gregson wrote: “In 1850, on account of bad health, Dr Minter, with his wife, son and three daughters, emigrated to Australia. They settled at Mount Moriac, near Geelong, intending to grow grapes, and the doctor only attended patients in an honorary capacity. We have been told by residents of the district how gratefully and affectionately their grandparents spoke of his willing medical help. He was a tall, impressive figure riding about the country wearing frock coat and top hat. We were also told that he was known by some as “the mad Dr Minter” because, being 50 years ahead of his time, he used fertilisers on his land and tried to persuade other agriculturalists to do the same”.2

Top: Minter house, Mount Moriac 1857, photograph (Source: State Library of Victoria); Below: Mount Moriac Geelong – Home of Michael Minter. Artwork believed to be painted by Michael Minter in the early 1850s.  Location of original artwork unknown.  This copy in black and white (possibly photographic) of artwork was made by Beryl Vaughan (granddaughter of Michael Minter) in 1962. (Source: Tim Kendall)

Michael Minter was born in Vlissingen (Flushing), Holland in 1807, the youngest of nine children of English parents. “When the French invaded Holland under Napoleon Bonaparte, the English were given 46 hours to get out, before the town was burnt, so the Minter family packed what few things they could collect and retreated to the [nearby] Island of Schouwen. Later, they went to England”.3 While Michael was quite young the family returned to their erstwhile home in Folkestone, England. After his medical apprenticeship with his brother-in-law Dr Robert James Peck he qualified with Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries, London (LSA) in 1828, and a Doctorate in Medicine (MD) from the Justus-Liebig University of Giessen, Germany in 1845. His first medical practice was in Whitstable, Kent, then he worked in London before establishing a practice in Folkestone, Kent. His first wife, Sarah Baldock, died of TB, and in 1842 he married Eleanor Edmonds Jeffery from Cheriton near Folkestone4.

Michael Minter wrote an account of his early years in Latin – the language in which medical studies were examined in his youth and which was a required subject of study in the nineteenth century English and Continental grammar (secondary) schools. A translation by Dr Neild of this account has been passed down through the family and appears in full in Appendix 4. The State Library of Victoria holds paintings and memorabilia of Michael Minter.

View from before sunrise to the East from mount Moriac, Arthur’s Seat, the Heads leading into the Gulph of Port Philip and Lake Connewarre, 1854, by Michael Minter (Source: State Library of Victoria)

Mount Moriac stands around 250 metres above sea level – the highest point for a considerable distance – from its summit is an extensive view in all directions over relatively gentle terrain. While the Minter’s timber house no longer exists, its likely location was just below and to the north of the summit of Mount Moriac where remains of brick and stone cellars can be found on gently sloping terrain. From this point the view to the east includes the heads of Port Phillip Bay, Arthur’s Seat and parts of Bass Strait. Michael’s watercolour of 1854 shows this vista in its dawn colours.

During the years Michael and Eleanor lived at Mount Moriac they had six further children: John Holman, Flora, Ellen, John Holman (2), Ffloyd, and Jeffery. Sadly all four sons born in Victoria died in infancy and are buried at Mount Moriac cemetery along with their father.

Minter family at their home in Mount Moriac, 1856 From left: Ada, Flora (front), Ella, Eleanor with baby Ellen, Michael, Rosa, Michael jnr. (Source: State Library of Victoria)

The Minters were amongst the earliest settlers in Mount Moriac. It seems likely that most of the Minter’s 640 acres would have been used for grazing – in this area mainly sheep. In the 1850s and 60s before phylloxera, the Geelong region developed a thriving wine industry. Two vineyards of five acres each were established on the Minter property - one leased to John Kiel, the other to John Bugman5. The Minters in their garden in 1856 (above), was the earliest garden photograph reproduced in Cuffley’s Cottage Gardens in Australia.6 The January 1865 still life watercolour by Ada Peck née Minter (see earlier section) painted at Mt Moriac illustrates summer flowers presumably from this garden: hollyhocks, roses, iris, and Madonna lilies.

With their neighbours the Tindales, a family with fourteen children who lived on the southern slope of Mount Moriac, the Minters “…used to be taken in bullock drays to Airey’s Inlet for holidays. There were no real roads and they had to take everything they needed, including goats for milk and fowls for eggs and eating.”7

Seaside holidays apart, life in Australia would have held many not so welcome surprises for the Minters. In 1854 Michael painted a bushfire to the north of Mount Moriac, “extending in one unbroken line full 50 miles”. From the supposed location of the Minter’s house near the summit of Mount Moriac, the mountain in Michael’s picture can be identified as Mount Buninyong near Ballarat. This appears, then, likely to be a record of the bushfire of February 6, 1851. The centenary publication of the Shire of Barrabool records: “February 6, 1851, must have been a dreadful day. The Geelong Advertiser reported “towering columns of dust, driven by a tempestuous hot blast.” The fire seems to have come from the Buninyong area and with no communications as we know them now, little advance warning or defence could be prepared.”8 Temperatures of 111 degrees were reported. “Black Thursday” affected several areas of Victoria besides the Barrabool Hills – Kilmore, the Plenty, Western Port, some parts of Gippsland and the Port Fairy Districts.

A bush fire to the north of Mount Moriac at night extending in one unbroken line full 50 miles, 1854, by Michael Minter (Source: State Library of Victoria)

Michael Minter became a magistrate and took an active part in community affairs, particularly the questions of road building and the amalgamation of council areas. In 1861 he joined the newly established Barrabool Road Board, and was elected chairman in 18639. He was appointed public vaccinator for the Barrabool Hills district in 1855.

Left: Rectangular seal belonging to Dr Michael Minter (reddish stone possibly carnelian) - side view; Centre: ditto, top view;; Right: brass name place for Dr Michael Minter. (Source for both: State Library of Victoria realia collection).

Left: Tortoiseshell snuff box belonging to Dr Michael Minter; side view; Right: ditto, silver lid showing Minter coat of arms and scroll reading: “Live and Love”. (Source: State Library of Victoria realia collection)

After an apparently long period of indifferent health, Michael Minter died in January 1864 of general debility, continued fever and effusion on the brain. The following month his widow Eleanor took steps to let the property, advertising it in The Argus:

Mount Moriac, near Geelong. – To be LET, a desirable GRAZING FARM, containing about 640 acres, distant 13 miles west of Geelong, and having thereon a commodious family residence, beautifully and healthily situated. An extensive medical practice having been carried on for many years by the late owner and occupier, Michael Minter Esq., M.D., lately deceased, at his property will be found very eligible for the occupancy of a gentleman of the medical profession, as it is situated in a respectable and populous agricultural district, where there is no medical practitioner in the immediate neighbourhood.”10

It appears the property took some time to let or sell. In 1868 it was advertised again, for sale or let, in the Geelong Advertiser: “680 acres of first class grazing and agricultural land. One of the vineyards with a 40 acre paddock can be had separately if required.” In 1871 the property – “known as the late Dr. Minter’s Homestead with commodious dwelling-house, vineyard and other improvements” - was advertised for sale or to be let11. Dr Minter’s “Mount Moriac Estate” was finally sold in 1875 to neighbour John Hensley – 680 acres at 6 pounds 2s/6d per acre.12

In 1867 Michael Minter Junior donated his father’s surgical instruments and medical works to the then newly established Gippsland Base Hospital in Sale which his cousins, Dr Ffloyd Minter Peck (who also died in January 1864) and Dr George Dixon Hedley had been active in helping establish. The Hospital Committee was very appreciative.13

During the 1850s, the three eldest Minter girls, Ella, Ada and Rosa, spent time at school in Port Albert in southern Gippsland taught by Mary Robertson, subsequently Mary Hedley. In this way they would have reinforced their contact with relatives with whom they emigrated from England, and also come to know many of those associated with the King properties around Rosedale.

In April 1863 the Minter’s eldest daughter, Ella (1844-1902), married Robert Copland Lethbridge (1838-1932), a cousin of John King and who was, at the time of his marriage, superintendent of The Ridge in Gippsland. Ella and Robert married at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Barrabool Hills near Geelong and appear to have spent time at Mount Moriac over the following couple of years.

Left; Record of Certificate of Marriage, Ella Minter and Robert Copland Lethbridge, Holy Trinity Anglican Church, April 1863 (Photo: Helen Connell); Right: Ella and Robert Copland Lethbridge 1863 on their honeymoon (Source: Tim Kendall)

Table arrangement for wedding breakfast, Mr & Mrs Robert Copland Lethbridge at Mt Moriac. (Source: Tim Kendall).

At their wedding breakfast at the Minter’s house in Mt Moriac, there were several family members from Gippsland – Mary Peck and her step-mother Menie Peck, Agatha Hedley, James Peck and Arthur Septimus King. There were neighbours – several members of the Tindale family, and members of the Dennys and Lascelles families who became well known in the Geelong region through their large and successful wool-broking firm (Dennys Lascelles Ltd.). The celebrant, Reverend C. Perry, also joined the breakfast.

Robert Copland Lethbridge, fourth son of Mary King14 and Robert Copland Lethbridge Snr, was born at his parents’ property Werrington at Penrith, New South Wales. At the age of 15 he became a jackaroo at Goonoo Goonoo station in Tamworth managed by his brother-in-law Arthur King on behalf of the King family, subsequently moving to The Ridge in Gippsland with John King. He spent five years at The Ridge, following which he rented the Scarne run, working on his own account for two or three years. In 1870 he spent about a year working for Arthur King on the Sydney Cottage station, Rosedale.

During these years Robert gained significant droving experience, taking three long trips in charge of stock over many hundreds of miles. Robert’s diary traces one of these trips of 1860/61: "Robert… at the age of 22, was put in charge of 22 men, 47 horses and droving equipment, and set off from The Ridge, Gippsland for Port Altona, Melbourne, where the horses and men boarded the H.S.Page for sea passage to Brisbane, commencing on 28th August 1860. … Robert proceeded on an overland journey to Ipswich, where he assembled his team in readiness for a droving journey of over 1000 miles. …The team reached Wooroowoolgen Station near Casino on October 14, and for the next 11 days, used the station as a base to prepare for the journey up the range to Tenterfield". From Tenterfield the drove moved south along the New England range, eventually to Cowra, Yass, Yarralumla Station (present site of Canberra), Cooma to the Delegate River, and a difficult passage down the Snowy River ranges into Victoria. "After an absence of 6 months and having driven the cattle a journey of 1100 miles and only a slight loss from disease and poison they arrived at The Ridge on February 24th 1861"15.

In 1868 Arthur King commissioned him to inspect properties in Central Western Queensland, and the two jointly purchased Forest Vale station on the banks of the Maranoa River near Mitchell in southern Queensland. In 1872 "Robert, Ella and their family of five young children, set sail for Brisbane from Melbourne, with all their household equipment plus a sulky and horses. After sailing up the Bremmer River to Ipswich, where all their equipment was unloaded, Robert proceeded overland to Forest Vale… while Ella and the family stayed at Old Gowrie Station, awaiting the signal to set off for Forest Vale. When this was given, the family set off from Toowoomba by buggy, dray and horseback, camping out each night until they reached Forest Vale, having covered a distance of about 350 miles overland".16 They then set about building the family’s homestead on the banks of the Maranoa River, clad with hardwood slabs.

Forest Vale homestead 1887 (Source: Forest Vale – the Property of Mr R. Copland Lethbridge. undated. no author recorded. 13pp. – copy owned by Tim Kendall )

Three years later Arthur King disposed of his interest in the property, Robert eventually becoming sole proprietor. When first taken up, Forest Vale run covered about 525 square miles, but the subsequent government policy of resumption meant large areas were later cut away and subdivided for closer settlement.

The Lethbridges had thirteen children, the oldest born in Victoria, the youngest six in Queensland – of which four at Forest Vale. The nearest doctor being 110 miles away in Roma, these children were born without medical assistance. Ella must have been competent, adaptable and resilient. A grandson wrote of her: “All that I can remember is with what affection all spoke of “Mother” … Lottie Hassell .. told me that she remembered going to stay at Forest Vale as a young girl. The men had all gone away to a mustering camp and before going had killed a bullock and cut it up. She remembered Grandmother (Ella) salting all of the meat, a very tedious job, and that night sitting by the fire doing the most delicate tapestry.”17

After moving to Queensland, Ella maintained contact with her Minter relatives – indeed her sister and brother-in-law Ada and James Peck were planning to move to Queensland for health reasons in 1884, but James died before this could happen.

Left: Ella and Robert Copland Lethbridge n.d.; Right: Ella Lethbridge née Minter 1875 (Source for both: Tim Kendall)

As mentioned earlier, the Minter’s second daughter, Ada, married her cousin James Peck in the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Barrabool Hills on 22 March 1864, a few weeks after her father’s death. Ada was still a minor and required her mother’s permission to marry. Like Ella and Robert, Ada and James appear to have spent time over the following year at Mount Moriac, presumably helping manage the property until leased. James and Ada’s first child who died in infancy is buried, at Mount Moriac. By 1866 they had moved to James’ property Bowarett in Sale, Gippsland where their subsequent children were born.

Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Barrabool Hills. Etching of first building, 1855. Architect Charles Vickers, Melbourne. Church was rebuilt to the same design in 1884. National Trust classified. (Photo: Helen Connell. Etching hangs inside the church.)

In January 1870 at St Jude’s Carlton, the Minter’s third daughter, Rosa (1848-1936) married William Pitt Phillips (1842-1924) from Newmarket, Suffolk, who had emigrated with Rosa’s uncle Dr Ffloyd Minter Peck in 1858. William worked for a while on the Snake Ridge run with John King. Both Rosa and William were good equestrians, and they lived on a succession of pastoral properties in Gippsland18.

Oaklands, Lindenow, Gippsland, by Flora Minter 1872. Watercolour. (Source: Tim Kendall)

During the 1870s the Phillips lived in Lindenow between Stratford and Bairnsdale, at Woodlands, and then at Oaklands (during at least 1872-74). From 1870 until her death in 1875, Rosa’s mother, Eleanor Minter, lived with them. Rosa’s younger sister Flora Minter (later Flora Gregson, see further below) painted Oaklands in 1872, at a time when she was living with Rosa and helping with the care of their mother.

By 1878 the Phillips had moved to Vellore, Denison, further to the west in north Gippsland, where their three youngest children were born. After 1884 they built Hilton, Denison, putting it up for sale in 1889 at the expiration of their lease, subsequently purchasing The Fulton at Bundalaguah near Sale (see below). The Fulton was a two-storied pre-fabricated iron house brought out from Scotland by Boyd Cunninghame in the 1850s in pieces and put together on site. In 1904 the Phillips let The Fulton, and retired to Malvern, a suburb of Melbourne, spending the next thirty years between there and their cottage at Lakes Entrance. The Phillips had six children, two of whom died during their adolescence.

The Fulton, Bundalaguah near Sale ca 1910. (Source: State Library of Victoria)

Along with her sister Ada Peck née Minter, Rosa had a holiday cottage at the New Works, Lakes Entrance (see above) which continued to be used by her children into the 1960s. Rosa Phillips took out the lease on Sea Shell in 1898, using it as a summer house. The lease was taken over by her daughter Louie who retained it until her death in 1968 – sadly, hit by a car in Lakes Entrance when crossing the road for her morning swim19. Rosa’s sister Flora was a frequent visitor to Sea Shell. Many of her watercolours, now in the State Library of Victoria Pictures Collection, are of scenes around Lakes Entrance. Novelist Mary Grant Bruce was another frequent visitor.

Phillips family in garden of Sea Shell ca 1910. Seated on chairs: Rosa Phillips née Minter, William Pitt Phillips; Standing: daughters Amy Phillips and Louie Phillips; grandchildren: Boyd Phillips (kneeling); and Grace Phillips (seated on ground in front), children of son William Edward (Ted) Phillips. (Source: Tim Kendall)

Lakes Entrance from “Sea Shell”, New Works. by Flora Gregson née Minter. 1923. Watercolour. (Source: State Library of Victoria)

At St Andrew’s Church, Brighton 27 May 1867, Michael Minter junior (1843-1897), the only surviving son of the family, married Emma Cuninghame (1845-1924), daughter of Robert Cuninghame of the Clydebank pastoral run near Sale20. Emma had grown up in the family of her uncle, Boyd Cunninghame, Robert’s older brother. Robert Cuninghame and Emma’s mother, Emma Lampard, were never married, and had no further children. Robert and Boyd were both younger sons of John Cuninghame, 13th Laird of Craigends, Renfrewshire, Scotland. Boyd Cunninghame and family moved from New South Wales to Gippsland around 1845, settling initially at Roseneath, and holding several runs briefly before building The Fulton at Bundalaguah just north of Sale around 1856. Following the death of her uncle Boyd in 1860 it is not known for how long Emma remained with her cousins at The Fulton. At the time of her marriage in 1867 she was resident in South Yarra, and her father was described as “Robert Cuninghame, Esq., of Melbourne”. Perhaps father and daughter lived together in Melbourne for a time. Her father was one of the witnesses at Emma’s marriage, and the following year, in 1868, Robert Cuninghame returned permanently to Scotland.

Michael and Emma had seven children, all born between 1868 and 1876 in the Melbourne area. In 1871 Michael was working for the Victoria Brewery in South Yarra. They lived in a bluestone building on Chapel Street, subsequently an IXL jam factory – known today as “The Jam Factory”.

Left: Emma Minter née Cuninghame n.d.; Right: Michael Minter Jnr n.d. (Source of both: Tim Kendall)

The family moved to Dhurringile Station, Murchison in northern Victoria in 1883 where Michael became station manager for the owner, James Winter.

Dhurringile in the 1880/90s (Source: Tim Kendall)

Michael bred stud merino rams, and evidently followed his father’s progressive agricultural style: “Irrigation brought immediate changes to the Shire of Rodney. Early farmers who had had water available to them had experimented with lucerne, sorghum and millet as fodder, while Minter of Dhurringile and Dr Heily of Rushworth were two who practised trench and pit ensilage of green forage crops.”21 Michael Minter was one of the initial Rodney Irrigation and Water Supply Trust Commissioners. The State Library of Victoria holds a photo of 'Minter Channel', presumably named after Michael. Michael became Chairman of the Trust in the mid 1890s, but it appears to have had significant financial problems during the poor economic circumstances of the time.

Left: Emma Minter n.d.; Right: Michael Minter Jnr n.d. (Source of both: Tim Kendall)

A tragic accident occurred in 1895 when Michael and Emma’s two younger sons accidentally drowned:“One of the youths [Jeffery Cuthbert Minter, aged 17] went into the water for a duck he had shot. He got out of his depth, and being unable to swim he sank. His brother Charles [aged 20] plunged in to his assistance, but was heavily weighted by leggings and shooting gear, and was unable to regain the bank. Both were drowned.”22

Michael died two years later in 1897, aged 53. Perhaps the accident and/or the tribulations of the Irrigation Trust contributed to his insomnia and ultimate death, as cited on his death certificate. The grave of all three in the Murchison cemetery is substantial (though now in poor condition, according to Meryl Stanton), indicating some prosperity. Electoral records suggest that Emma remained in northern Victoria in the farming household of her son Floyd Cunninghame Minter until at least 1919. Emma ultimately returned to Melbourne where she lived till her death in 1924 in South Yarra.

After the death of their father, Dr Michael Minter, the two youngest girls, Flora (1854-1933) and Ellen (Nell) (1856-1919), moved with their mother Eleanor Edmonds Minter into Geelong to be near Mrs Burn’s School for Young Ladies23. Subsequently, Eleanor moved to live with her daughter Rosa Phillips in Gippsland, while Flora and Ellen went to boarding school in Melbourne – first to Mrs Tripp’s at Jolimont, then to East Leigh on the corner of Williams Road and Malvern Road. This may have been around 1867 when their brother Michael and his new wife Emma lived nearby. Flora’s daughter, Nell Gregson, recorded that: “The Eastleigh boarders’ daily walks were sometimes to Mt Erica – High Street, Windsor – but they preferred going all the way to Malvern, right out in the bush. Flora and Ellen’s greatest treat was to visit their brother, Michael, and their kind sister-in-law, Emma, née Cunningham [sic], at South Yarra.”24 About 1869 these school days ended, and Flora moved to her sister Rosa’s in Gippsland to help look after their mother Eleanor whose health had failed. After Eleanor died in 1875, Flora boarded in Sale and studied painting with Mary Hedley (see above).

Flora and Ellen Minter, aged 20 and 18 years (Source: State Library of Victoria)

In 1879 Flora married William Harding Gregson (ca 1857-1926) in Sale. William was born in India, had travelled to England for his education, and in 1872 joined his family then in Australia. At the age of 17 William Gregson joined the Lands Department in Melbourne, being transferred to the Land Office in Sale about 1877. He had a strong interest in geology and made several collections of fossils. In 1879 he became Land Officer at Bairnsdale where he remained for eleven years, returning to Melbourne and becoming Chief Clerk of the Lands Department.

Flora had a lifelong interest in drawing and painting both in oils and watercolours, managing to paint even during the years when her five children were young. She became a noted painter of landscapes around the Gippsland lakes, Geelong and the Mornington peninsula. In 1954 her surviving children, Donald, Nell and Lynette, donated a set of some 100 of these to the State Library of Victoria, along with their father’s sketchbooks of early Gippsland. Her paintings are valuable and lively documents of the daily life she saw around her. They evidence her strong aesthetic interests, good eye for colour and decorative talent.

Left: Flora and William Gregson with two of their children, Bairnsdale n.d.;Right: Nell Minter n.d. (Source of both: Tim Kendall)

In 1879 the youngest Minter daughter, Ellen (Nell) (1856 – 1919), married career soldier Colonel Emanuel (Teddy) Otter (ca 1836 - 1920) in East Melbourne. The Otters lived in Melbourne, and had two daughters. Before arriving in Australia, Teddy had spent eight years with the Royal Marines as lieutenant, three with the Mediterranean fleet. After retiring from the Imperial service he came to Victoria around 1870, spending several years in mining pursuits in Gippsland – including at Coongulmerang, near Bairnsdale. Eventually he joined the Victorian Field Artillery as lieutenant, and was stationed at Queenscliff fort as captain for a period. In 1889 he took command of the Victorian Rangers. During the Boer War he went to South Africa in command of the Fifth Victorian Contingent of Mounted Rifles, seeing service in the Transvaal before being invalided home in 1901. Ellen died in 1919 of acute pneumonia; her husband died a year later.

Top: Wildflowers by Flora Gregson ca 1910; Middle: The Lady of the Lake trying to pull a Steamer off the Bar [Lakes Entrance], 1878 by Flora Gregson; Bottom: Bonang – The Oldest House in Gippsland by W.H. Gregson. (Source for all: State Library of Victoria).

Click on the following link to read the next section of the story: Looking Back Now

1The Argus Feb 12, 1851.

2 Nell Gregson (1954) Notes on sketches by Mr W.H. Gregson and Mrs Gregson (née Flora Minter). State Library of Victoria. La Trobe Picture Collection. Provenance File.

3 Gregson op.cit.

4Eleanor’s sister Elizabeth was married to Michael’s brother Bartholomew.

5 Wynd, Ian (1992) Barrabool – Land of the Magpie. Torquay. Barrabool Shire.

6 Cuffley, P. (1989) Cottage Gardens in Australia Fitzroy, Melb. The Five Mile Press. pp.40-41.

7 Gregson op.cit.. The trip to Airey’s Inlet from Mount Moriac would have been some 25 miles (41 Kms) to the southwest. Airey’s Inlet is on the Surf Coast.

8 Shire of Barrabool (1965) 1865-1865 Centenary of the Proclamation of the Shire of Barrabool. p.11; “Black Thursday”, The Argus, Sat. 17 Jan 1857.

9In 1864 the Barrabool Road Board purchased 2 acres of Mill Road [Hendy Main Road] from Mrs Minter for 24 pounds to erect their own premises.

10 Listed under “Houses and Properties to Let” The Argus. 22 Feb, 1864

11Geelong Advertiser 25 April 1868; Geelong Advertiser Sat 20 May, 1871. Apply to C.J. Dennys & Co. Geelong; or to Michael Minter, Esq., Victoria Brewery, South Yarra.

12 In 1863 John Hensley had purchased the Tindale property, Ewerby Estate, which comprised the southern slope of Mount Moriac. With the purchase of the Minter’s property, Hensley consolidated the entire mount into a single ownership – a pattern which has continued to the present, with Len and June Champness, the current owners (who generously enabled us to visit the property in 2015). Dr Minter had purchased his original 640 acres at 1 pound per acre; later he added 47 acres purchased from the Hon. W.C. Haines at 12 pounds per acre. Geelong Advertiser 6 Oct 1875.

13“Thanks of the Hospital Committee be tendered to Michael Minter for his kind and very valuable gift of surgical instruments.” Gippsland Times 15 Oct 1867.

14 Mary King was the youngest daughter of Governor Philip Gidley King, and a sister of Phillip Parker King, father of John and Arthur Septimus King.

15 W.S. Oliver (1999) The Great White Father – The biography of a great Australian, Dr H.O. Lethbridge (1880-1944). Terranora, NSW. WS Oliver. pp.7-10. Dr H.O. Lethbridge was the eighth child of Ella and Robert Lethbridge of Forest Vale.

16 Oliver WS op.cit.

17 Oliver WS op.cit. p.15

18 “Old North Gippsland Identity Passes”, Gippsland Times, Thurs 20 Aug, 1936.

19 “The Lady of the Lakes is Killed” The Herald Mon May 6, 1968: “The people of Lakes Entrance knew her as the Lady of the Lakes. She was grey-haired and tall, but her grace had not receded with the years. She had never married. She was wealthy and never had to work.

And every morning about 7 o’clock 87 year old Miss Ella [Louie] Phillips left her home on the Esplanade, crossed the Princes Highway and swam to the strip of lake between the town and the ocean called the Cunningham Arm. Miss Phillips loved the sea. She owned a holiday cottage at Lakes Entrance which she called “Sea Shell”. Her happiest times were spent gardening, fishing in the lake and pottering around “Sea Shell”…

To Lakes Entrance people she was a familiar sight – always immaculately dressed, and always with a kind word. The daughter of a wealthy Sale family, she had travelled widely as a young woman. She always had something interesting to say…”

20 Boyd Cuninghame and Robert Thomson formed a partnership in 1835 emigrating to New South Wales and establishing a pastoral business in the Monaro. When the partnership was dissolved in 1842 Robert Thomson established a new partnership with Boyd’s younger brother Robert Cuninghame who had arrived in Sydney in 1838. This partnership continued until Robert Thomson’s death in 1863. Robert Thomson and Robert Cuninghame were amongst the first squatters to arrive in Gippsland in the early 1840s, establishing the station Clydebank and later Marley Point. Boyd followed them to Gippsland with his family around 1846, settling initially at Roseneath. He held several runs: Bindi briefly, Roseneath and Mosquito Point till 1849, Mt Deddick 1848 to 1850. Around 1856 he built The Fulton at Bundalaguah just north of Sale. Boyd began to spell the family surname as “Cunninghame”. As indicated earlier in this paper, Robert Thomson’s sister-in-law, Menie Campbell, married Michael’s cousin Floyd Minter Peck in Sale in 1860. See also the Cunninghame family letters 1835-1888 (transcribed 1993) held at the State Library of New South Wales; and Thomson, David (2000) The Thomson story: part 1 the Thomson family in Scotland from 1600AD: part 11 The Thomson family in Australia from 1835-1842 (to be continued). .

21Bossence, W.H. (1969) Tatura and the Shire of Rodney.

22The Argus, Jan. 2, 1895

23 Nell Gregson (1954): Notes on Sketches by Mr WH Gregson and Mrs Gregson (née Flora Minter), State Library of Victoria Picture Collection. Mrs Burn’s Ladies’ Select Boarding School was established at Olrig House, Fenwick Street, Geelong in 1863. Mrs Burn advertised in the Geelong Advertiser (Tue 13 October 1863) that she: “will receive young ladies to board and educate. The [Olrig] house is well suited for a Boarding-school being substantially built of bluestone and brick with large and lofty rooms, and the situation is one of the healthiest of Geelong. Mrs Burn has had lengthened and successful experience in educating young ladies, and will do everything in her power for the advancement of those pupils who may be entrusted to her care. Mrs Burn will be assisted by resident governesses and visiting masters.” Mrs Burn’s husband had been headmaster of The Gheringhap St. School nearby since 1856.

24 Nell Gregson (1954) op.cit. The school of Mrs Elizabeth Tripp and four daughters, “East Leigh”, is described in some detail in: Marjorie Theobald (1996): Knowing Women: Origins of Women’s Education in Nineteenth-Century Australia. Cambridge Univ. Press and Angus and Robertson pp.37-40. The school ran from 1859 to 1881. In 1861 it moved to the corner of Commercial [which becomes Malvern Rd] and Williams Roads, Prahran, in 1866 moving across the road to a two storey Georgian house set in 3 acres of garden.